11 July 2024

Increasing pressure was applied to the National Hazardous Substances Committee (NHSC) when Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul announced today that the Bhumjaithai party’s ministers, who oversee the use of paraquat, glyphosate and chlorpyrifos, will resign if the committee does not decide to completely ban the three toxic chemicals.

Speaking at a hotel in the southern province of Phatthalung, accompanied by six other Bhumjaithai party MPs, Mr. Anutin reaffirmed the party’s demand, in the public interest, for a complete ban on the herbicides.

As far as the Ministry of Public Health is concerned, he said that two representatives of the ministry, who sit on the NHSC, will definitely vote to ban the substances as he called on the committee to vote openly, instead of secretly as it had done in the past.

When asked about the opinion of Mr. Chadha Thaiseth, an MP from Uthai Thani province and elder brother of Deputy Agriculture Minister Mananya Thaiseth who suggested the party’s ministers overseeing the use of the herbicides must resign if they are not banned, the deputy prime minister said they were ready to quit “if we cannot control those people.”

Mr. Anutin did not elaborate which ministers should quit, but it is understood he was referring to himself and Ms. Mananya.

The NHSC is yet to set the date for the decision on the ban.